Britain accuses Putin of establishing Kremlin allies in Ukraine

Britain has accused President Vladimir Putin of planning to appoint a pro-Moscow leader as head of government of Ukraine while considering whether to launch an invasion of Russia’s neighbors. ..

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has taken the unusual step of nominating former Ukrainian parliamentarian Yehuhen Muraev as a potential Kremlin candidate to take over in Kiev.

The move begins with Western allies strengthening warnings that Russia will pay a large sum if an estimated 100,000 troops gathered at the border begin to invade Ukraine in any way.

In a statement, Foreign Minister Liz Truss said the Russian conspiracy showed how long the Kremlin was ready to go to undermine Kiev’s government.

“The information released today sheds light on the scope of Russia’s work designed to destroy Ukraine and provides insight into the Kremlin’s thinking,” she said.

“Russia must reduce escalations, end attacks and disinformation campaigns, and pursue a diplomatic path.

“As Britain and our partners have repeatedly said, the invasion of Russian troops into Ukraine will be a major strategic mistake with serious costs.”

Media owner Muraev lost his seat in the Ukrainian parliament because his party failed to secure 5% of the votes in the 2019 elections.

He reportedly said in the past in support of Russia’s annexation of Crimea from Ukraine in 2014.

In addition, the Foreign Ministry has nominated four other Ukrainian politicians who maintain ties with Russian intelligence.

It said that some of them were in contact with Russian intelligence personnel working on the aggression plan.

They include Mykola Azarov, who served as prime minister under pro-Moscow President Viktor Yanukovych, who fell in a popular uprising in 2014.

Azarov fled to Russia and established what is widely seen as a government-in-exile doll.

He is subject to international sanctions and is the “red notice” of the International Criminal Police Organization issued at the request of the Ukrainian government.

The list also includes Vladimir Sibkovich, a former Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary of the Ukrainian National Security and Defense Council. He was subject to US sanctions this week for working with Russian intelligence.

Others include Serhi Albuzov and Andrey Kluev, who were Deputy Prime Ministers under Yanukovych.

By Gavin Cordon

PA media